At the heart of this weekend are three of Schubert’s most distinctive and enduringly popular chamber works: the Trout Quintet, Death and the Maiden Quartet and E flat Piano Trio. Curated by William Howard in collaboration with the superb Carducci String Quartet, the programmes also offer a varied selection of more intimate pieces by Schubert. Each concert includes a work by Dvořák, who, like Schubert, was not only one of the greatest melodists of the 19th century, but also shared an astonishing imagination for instrumental colour, nowhere more evident than in his own Piano Quintet.
William Howard’s distinguished career as soloist and founder/pianist of the Schubert Ensemble has taken him to over 40 different countries. He has performed regularly at major UK festivals and London venues, including Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, and can be heard on more than 40 CD recordings. He has lectured for MRT in Warsaw and Bologna.
Founded in 1997, the internationally acclaimed Carducci String Quartet have performed in prestigious venues across the globe. Winners of numerous competitions and, in 2016, a Royal Philharmonic Society Award, they maintain a busy schedule of concerts alongside a strong commitment to educational work and run their own annual Festival near Gloucester.
Friday 16 April, 5.30pm
Talk at 5.00pm
Schubert, Adagio and Rondo Concertante for Piano Quartet D487
Dvořák, String Quartet No. 12 in F, Op. 96 American
Schubert, Piano Quintet in A, D667 Die Forelle
Saturday 17 April, 11.00am
Talk at 10.30am
Schubert, String Trio Movements in B flat D471
Dvořák, Three Poetic Tone Pictures for Piano, Op. 85
Schubert, 3 Ecossaises D816 and Ungarische Melodie D817 (both for Piano)
Schubert, String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810 Death and the Maiden
Saturday 17 April, 5.30pm
Talk at 5.00pm
Schubert, Notturno in E flat D897 for Piano Trio
Schubert, String Quartet No. 10 in E flat, D87
Dvořák, Piano Quintet No. 2 in A, Op. 81
Sunday 18 April, 11.00am
Talk at 10.30am
Schubert, Ave Maria (arr. for Cello and Piano)
Schubert, Ständchen (arr. for Piano by F. Liszt) and Impromptus in G flat and E flat from Op. 90
Dvořák, Three Waltzes Op. 54 for Piano
Schubert, Piano Trio No. 2 in E flat, D929
Prices, per person
Two sharing: standard double or twin £860; Garden Room £1,050. Single occupancy: double for sole use £980; single bedded room £860.
Four concerts and pre-concert talks, accommodation for two nights, breakfasts, two afternoon teas, two dinners, interval drinks, programme, tips for hotel staff.
The Castle Hotel, Taunton: The Castle is renowned for its excellent service, for comforts traditional and modern, and for its superb catering. It has been owned and run by the Chapman family for over 60 years. Chamber music events have been held here since 1977, and Martin Randall Travel took over the running of them in 2003.
The hotel’s bedrooms are individually and charmingly decorated. Doubles and twins are mainly of a good size, and the largest – the Garden Rooms – overlook the garden. There is no single-occupancy supplement for the rooms with single beds. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment. The hotel has a lift, though some bedrooms are then accessed via stairs. The Music Room is on a mezzanine level, up a flight of stairs from the lobby.
Taunton lies on the doorstep of Exmoor and the Quantocks, areas with some of the loveliest countryside in England.